Students have taken notice of an unusual phenomenon at the University of Findlay this year, faculty and staff leaving in the middle of the school year.
With a 16:1 ratio of students to faculty and has a total enrollment number of almost 5,000, it’s safe to say that the University of Findlay has a sizable faculty.
The faculty leaving range from language classes to the sciences, and students have taken notice.
Dr. Harley Ferris, Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of the Center for Storytelling and Participatory Media accepted a new position as Executive Director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Scott Grant left the College of Business at UF last month to become the Director of Operations, Outreach, & Leadership Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And Dr. Carl Walling, Assistant Professor of Theatre, left UF at the end of the fall semester. He started at UF in 2015.
Faculty are not the only positions opening up at UF. In December, Leroy Morgan left the position as assistant registrar at UF after 18 years to work at Heidelberg University. Media Relations Coordinator Joy Brown also left in December to accept a News/Communication Specialist position at Western Michigan University
In an email interview, Brown says her time at the University helped prepare her for the next step, though it was difficult to leave.
“I cried when I left the University of Findlay,” said Brown. “By the time I resigned as media relations coordinator in late 2019, I’d spent five extraordinary years there exponentially expanding my professional skills and earning a master’s degree. I considered it nothing short of phenomenal, and one of the most impactful periods of my life.”
Jessica Seifert, a senior animal science major, has taken notice of recent departures within faculty and staff.
“I have had a few classes so far that have switched professors because the previous faculty has left the University of Findlay,” said Seifert. She noticed this recently, mentioning the differences in classes along with the differences in teaching staff.
“Every professor I have had has been great,” stated Seifert. “It does become difficult, though, when you prepare yourself for one professor and are surprised with a different teaching style.”
Seifert continued to explain that peers had given her an idea of a professor they had had previously, and so she prepared herself for said professor and the way in which they teach. This became an issue when the faculty then left the university altogether, leaving Seifert with a new learning curve to overcome.
“I understand that faculty leave for various reasons, it’s just challenging to adapt to each new professor when you’ve had your mindset on a certain teaching style and have prepared to succeed with it,” expressed Seifert.
Seifert also mentioned that it could be difficult to seek help from mentors in the program when new professors are brought in to fill the positions of the previous faculty member.
“I know I relied heavily on my mentors in the sciences as they are difficult classes, so I can only imagine how hard it will be for future students to figure out new ways to succeed,” continued Seifert.
Another matter that Seifert expressed would be an obstacle is the need for new books.
“Many students will loan or share books to cut down costs in college,” said Seifert. “With the new professors who require new books that have never been introduced to the students, it can put a strain on students’ budgets.”
The unusual timing of faculty leaving appears to have no “one” cause, but many cases have been based on locations and opportunities for the person leaving, such as Brown’s situation.
“My new job as a writer for Western Michigan University is heavily informed by my UF experiences,” Brown said. “Some key aspects I worked on at Findlay that are helping me…up here: curiosity…, confidence…, kindness…, and gratitude.”